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COLONY THEATER

The COLONY THEATER, located on SHAKER SQUARE, is one of Cleveland's major movie houses and one of the square's most notable architectural features. Completed in Dec. 1937, the Colony was designed for Warner Bros. by John Eberson, a Chicago and New York theater designer. Though the exterior of the building harmonized with the Georgian theme of the square's other structures, the interior was completely modern, making use of bakelite, Italian marble, and the clean, flowing lines of the late Art Deco period. Dubbed "The House of Curves," the auditorium seated 1,500 on the main level and in a balcony. The lower-level lounge featured a mural, painted by internationally known muralist Arthur Crisp, depicting the adventures of Aladdin. The theater prospered throughout the 1940s and 1950s. However, like many movie houses it eventually lost much patronage to TELEVISION, and on 11 Feb. 1979 it closed. At that time it was operated by Natl. Theater, Inc. Beginning in July 1980, the theater was reopened by the Friends of Shaker Square for occasional shows. In June 1981 it reopened on a full-time basis under the management of Morris Zryl for movies and live performances, specializing in the exhibition of 70mm films and classic movies. Under the ownership of Albert Saluan, it was redesigned as a 5-screen multiplex and reopened with a restored lobby in Jan. 1992.